variants: also alarum

Synonyms & Antonyms of alarm

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 the act or an instance of telling beforehand of danger or risk
  • in a daring midnight ride Paul Revere gave the alarm that British troops were approaching

Synonyms for alarm

Words Related to alarm


variants: also alarum

Synonyms & Antonyms of alarm (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to strike with fear
  • I don't want to alarm you, but I think you should know there's a bear on your back porch

Synonyms for alarm

Words Related to alarm

Phrases Synonymous with alarm

Near Antonyms for alarm

Antonyms for alarm

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About alarm

How is the word alarm distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of alarm are dread, fear, fright, panic, terror, and trepidation. While all these words mean "painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger," alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger.

view the situation with alarm

When is dread a more appropriate choice than alarm?

The words dread and alarm can be used in similar contexts, but dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.

faced the meeting with dread

When can fear be used instead of alarm?

While the synonyms fear and alarm are close in meaning, fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.

fear of the unknown

When might fright be a better fit than alarm?

The synonyms fright and alarm are sometimes interchangeable, but fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear.

fright at being awakened suddenly

Where would panic be a reasonable alternative to alarm?

In some situations, the words panic and alarm are roughly equivalent. However, panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity.

the news caused widespread panic

When would terror be a good substitute for alarm?

The meanings of terror and alarm largely overlap; however, terror implies the most extreme degree of fear.

immobilized with terror

How do trepidation and dread relate to one another, in the sense of alarm?

Trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation.

raised the subject with trepidation

Learn More About alarm

Time Traveler for alarm

Time Traveler

The first known use of alarm was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near alarm

à la mode


alarm clock

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Cite this Entry

“Alarm.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on alarm

Nglish: Translation of alarm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alarm for Arabic Speakers


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